Conference for caregivers helps families cope

15th Annual Conference for Caregivers August 12, 2017 Springfield, IL

15th Annual Conference for Caregivers, August 12, 2017 Springfield, ILI’m looking forward to attending the 15th annual Conference for Caregivers this Saturday, August 12 from 8 am to 2 pm at the Northfield Center, 3280 Northfield Drive in Springfield, Illinois. Presented by the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland, the conference is offered for caregivers of older family members and grandparents raising children to provide information and support.

Following are some of the great sessions lined up, including a couple focused on dementia that I’m really looking forward to hearing. You can still register through Thursday, August 10 by calling the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland at 217-787-9234 for more information. Continue reading

American Writers Museum wows in Chicago

What is the American Writers Museum?

American Writers Museum SignThe American Writers Museum sign on the side of a building caught my attention as I cut a path through the crowd along Michigan Avenue to meet a friend. What exactly is the American Writers Museum, I wondered as I hurried to reach my luncheon destination north of the Chicago River. My curiosity piqued, I vowed to check it out later during my weekend stay in the Windy City.

Finding a few hours of free time the next morning, I retraced my steps to 180 North Michigan Avenue and entered the American Writers Museum on the second floor as the doors were unlocked at 10 am sharp, pleased to be the first visitor of the day. Wowed by the high-tech and shiny-new gleam of the place, I learned the museum’s grand opening on May 16, 2017 had been less than two months before my visit. Here’s what I discovered on my tour. Click on any image to enlarge and use your back arrow to return. Continue reading

Motherhood: Lost and Found

Books I’m Reading: Motherhood: Lost and Found

Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann CampanellaI recently read the book Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann Campanella. It was a good memoir about the sandwich generation trying to do the right thing for their aging parents, their children, and themselves. Campanella writes beautifully and truthfully about the difficulties of undertaking and balancing the tasks of having and raising children, family caregiving for ailing parents, and pursuing a career and personal hobbies. Thank goodness for Campanella it all works out in the end. Job well done!

AlzAuthors eBook Sale June 21 – 28, 2017

AlzAuthors eBook Sale starts on The Longest Day during Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month!

AlzAuthors eBook Sale June 21-28, 2017Looking for some great new books to read? Then you’ll want to know about the AlzAuthors eBook Sale that starts today, which includes my award-winning family saga novel Brought To Our Senses offered at an insane discount for the very first time!

First, a little bit about the group offering this great eBook sale. AlzAuthors was founded in 2016 by four daughters of dementia who met over the internet because of their books, and formed a friendship and a mission to create a space where caregivers can find solid support, and those who share their stories can find the proper audience. I am pleased to be a member of AlzAuthors.

You may have heard that June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and June 21st is The Longest Day. Sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, these important events increase awareness of Alzheimer’s, related dementias, and brain health. In recognition of these events, AlzAuthors has put together our very first eBook sale! Continue reading

International Book Award for Brought to Our Senses

Illinois Author Earns Next Generation Indie Book Award for Dementia Novel

Kathleen H. Wheeler’s poignant family drama Brought to Our Senses named a finalist in the First Novel category of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Next Generation Indie Books Award LogoIllinois author Kathleen H. Wheeler’s debut Brought to Our Senses has been named a finalist in the First Novel category of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Known as the ‘Sundance’ of the book publishing world, the international book award competition recognizes the most exceptional books published independent of the “Big Five” conglomerates through small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. The Next Generation Indie Book Awards are judged by leaders of the indie book publishing industry, including many coming from long careers with major publishing houses, to identify cream-of-the-crop books worthy of support to reach a wider audience of readers.

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Mother’s Day Memories Past and Present

Roller Coaster Reflections on Mother’s Day

Screamin' Eagle Roller Coaster Six Flags“Hey, let’s go to Six Flags today,” my mother suggested one Saturday morning in early June of 1980 as she hovered over the shabby sofa on which I sprawled. “We shouldn’t waste such a gorgeous day, and you don’t have to work, right?”

“Huh?” I peered up from the juicy novel I’d planned to devour first over summer break.

“Come on, it’ll be fun!” In one swift move, Mom confiscated the paperback and hoisted me from my cozy nest. “You can read in the car on the way there and back, okay?”

“What about the twins?” I asked about my sisters. “They’ll be ticked to be left out.”

“Yeah, right, aren’t you funny! And besides, they’re working today. This is our special treat … on me.”

My older siblings had entered the “it’s-not-cool-to-hang-with-Mom” stage of adolescence. At fourteen, I was headed in that direction too, testing my independence with my first job at McDonald’s and spreading my wings with activities away from home. The mood-swing-inducing hormones that would distance me from my mother for the better part of the next decade were already running through my veins. Continue reading

Where the Light Gets In by Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her AgainWhere the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading Where the Light Gets In and recommend the book. I think I wanted to see if a celebrity might somehow have a different experience with dementia than the average person. And largely the pain and struggle is the same, regardless of status. Dementia is cruel and difficult for all. My favorite part of this memoir was when the author rid herself of selfish expectations and learned to connect with her mother in the moment of what was left to share. It’s an “a-ha” moment that I finally reached as well, and what I hope others will discover too as they struggle through a loved one’s journey through dementia. Kudos to Williams-Paisley for showing the reality of this disease and not sugar coating the difficulties.

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Mel-O-Cream Donuts featured in new family-focused novel Brought To Our Senses

Hometown donut shop provides the setting for a pivotal scene in a central Illinois story, offers book from four Springfield locations, and hosts book signing event February 25, 2017.

Mel-O-Cream Donuts Springfield ILSPRINGFIELD, IL, February 15, 2017 – Springfield favorite Mel-O-Cream Donuts plays a supporting role in the new family saga novel Brought To Our Senses. A pivotal scene takes place in chapter 15 with a chance encounter in the local donut shop, resulting in the discovery of a shocking family secret with serious repercussions. To celebrate this connection with the story, Mel-O-Cream will offer the novel from its four Springfield locations and hold a book signing event on February 25, 2017.

“I needed a familiar location where it would make sense to run into an old friend and have a casual conversation,” says Springfield author Kathleen H. Wheeler. “I can’t think of anyplace more perfect than Mel-O-Cream, somewhere I’ve been a gazillion times since I was a kid, and a place where I’ve bumped into countless acquaintances over the years.”

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Nightingale was an enjoyable read. It was fascinating to relive WWII from the perspective of two French sisters. I liked the conclusion and how I wasn’t sure what happened and which sister was left until the very end. A lovely, emotional story and good reminder that war is hell. Hopefully history has taught its lesson.
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Brought To Our Senses family saga novel by Kathleen H. Wheeler

 

Vono Medical Supplies in Springfield, Illinois

Vono Medical Supplies now carries Brought To Our Senses: A Novel

Vono Medical Supplies Springfield ILVono Medical Supplies in Springfield, IL is where you need to go for home medical equipment. They carry all the medical products caregivers need to keep loved ones comfortable and cared for at home. And now you can pick up a copy of Brought To Our Senses there too! Look for the novel at the cash registers or on the front table with other educational reading materials. Caregivers will find inspiration in the family drama about four troubled siblings brought together by their mother’s health crisis.